Record Details

NHER Number:6144
Type of record:Building
Name:St Margaret's Church, Cley next the Sea


This ornate 14th and 15th century church comprises a nave, north and south aisles, chancel and northwest tower. It is built of flint with stone dressings and has ruined transepts and porches. The font dates to the 15th century, there are 15th century bench ends and fragments of stained glass in the south aisle date to about 1460. A Beaker pot has been found in the churchyard.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 0486 4312
Map Sheet:TG04SW

Full description

Ornate Decorated and Perpendicular church. Transepts ruinous. Font. Carved stalls with misericords 16th century. Pulpit 1611. Benches. Terracotta panels from house in town, stained glass. 15th to 16th century brasses.
Information from (S1).
(S2) noted north transept and north porch in ruins, also a west porch, south porch with coats of arms ((S3) says De Vaux from about 1390) around entrance, and a 'fair' stone coffin.
John de Ramsey I, builder of Norwich Carnary Chapel, is credited with early 14th century reconstruction.
Information from member of the public [1].
E. Rose (NAU), 6 January 1986.

Before 1906. Dug up in Cley churchyard near tower.
Ovoid Beaker with recurved rim. 17.5cm (7in) high, 13.8cm (5.5in) across mouth, 7.5cm (3in) across base. Combination of C x/x4 + ?b1 (Willmotts classification).
See (S4) and (S5).
Donated to Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 1906.44)
R. R. Clarke (NCM).
Pot seen by F. Healy (NAU).

See (S6) for mention of graffiti of sailing ships including a rudder detail.
E. Rose (NAU), 7 June 1988.

P. Millington-Wallace (NAU) notes a black and white tiled floor replaced by pamments at some date between 1980 and 1994.

(S7) reproduces map of 1586 which shows a spire on the church.
E. Rose (NLA), 7 November 1997.

Photograph (S8) and press cutting (S9) in file.

Altar stone in chancel floor beneath main altar table, and another broken in two beneath north aisle altar (S10).
E. Rose (NLA), 30 August 2003.

November 2003.
Diocesan Advisory Committee recommended granting of consent to saw the bottom off a 17th century door.
E. Rose (NLA), 2 December 2003.

There is said to be a sheela na gig carving on the church.
Information from member of the public [3].
E. Rose (NLA), 13 February 2004.

(S10) notes in the church an early 20th century model of a two masted topsail schooner which has been there since at least 1920. It was said locally to be a model of a ship wrecked off the coast here.
E. Rose (NLA), 6 November 2004.

September 2004.
It is rumoured that statues of the 12 stone apostles and Jesus Christ were stripped from the church and thrown into Cley harbour during the Reformation. A geophysical survey of the harbour is due to be undertaken to try and locate the missing statues.
See (S11) for further details

October 2005.
14th and 15th century church. Flint with stone dressings. Grey corrugated tiles. Northwest tower, nave, north and south aisles, chancel. 14th century clerestorey.
Inside: nave roof about 1970, aisles roofs 15th century.17th century altar. 15th century font. Twenty-four 15th century bench ends. Fragments of stained glass in south aisle date to about 1460.
Information from (S12).
D. Robertson (NLA), 26 October 2005.

This is one of the sixty-five Norfolk churches selected for (S13).
D. Gurney (NLA), 17 February 2006.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FONT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POT (Beaker - 2300 BC to 1700 BC)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • INSCRIBED OBJECT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Monograph: Bryant, T. H. 1902. Hundred of Holt. The Churches of Norfolk. Vol IX. pp 41-49.
---Publication: Clarke, D. L. 1970. Beaker Pottery of Great Britain and Ireland. Vol 2. No 518; Fig 535.
---Article in Serial: Peake, P.. 2003. A Family of Substance.. Glaven Historian. No 6. pp 28ff.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 432-434; Pl 34.
---Publication: Linnell, C.L.S.. 1959. St Margaret's Church, Cley-next-the-Sea.
---Unpublished Document: Unknown. Church of St Margaret, Cley-next-the-Sea.
---Unpublished Document: Randall, G.. 2007. St Margaret's Church, Cley-next-the-Sea: In the Middle Ages.. April.
---Article in Serial: Whitingham, A. 1980. Cley Church. The Archaeological Journal. Vol 137 p 347.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Neolithic. Cley next the sea.
---Article in Serial: Hayden, A. 2007. Church and Other Organs. Glaven Historian. No 10 pp 3-9.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1928. The Glaven. An Unknown Norfolk river. 30 March.
<S1>Monograph: Pevsner, N. 1962. North-East Norfolk and Norwich. The Buildings of England. 1st Edition. pp 113-115; Pl 12a, Pl 45b.
<S2>Documentary Source: Martin, T. c. 1700-1799. Collections of Church Notes. Norfolk Records Office.
<S3>Publication: Cozens-Hardy. [unknown].
<S4>Publication: Rye, W. 1909. Catalogue of Antiquities Found Principally in East Anglia. p 31; No 231.
<S5>Article in Serial: Fox, C. 1925. On Two Beakers of the Early Bronze Age Recently Discovered in South Wales: With a Record of the Distribution of Beaker-pottery in England and Wales. Archaeologia Cambrensis. Vol LXXX pp 1-31. p 27.
<S6>Serial: NARG. 1988. NARG news. 51.
<S7>Publication: Hooton, J.. The Glaven Ports. p. 106.
<S8>Photograph: Hodder. Cley F1 Neg 32.
<S9>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1989. Fat years dried up as the sea withdrew. 24 July.
<S10>Publication: Harley, B.. 1994. Church Ships. pp 26-27.
<S11>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2004. Disciple delivering plan. 28 September.
<S12>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1172407.
<S13>Publication: Jenkins, S. 2000. England's Thousand Best Churches.

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